Saturday, December 29, 2007


Big Red's steering is shot and Dickidoo is tired of fixing my truck.  He decided to put the old Ford out to pasture and got me a new car.

A used new car.  An itty bitty teenie tiny car that I almost have to squat to get into.

But it has a working heater and power steering.

Never try to drive a new used car to work at 4 am in the morning without taking it out on a test drive first... in daylight. 

I wish I had thought of this yesterday.

I didn't know where the windshield scraper was so I pulled out my employee discount card to scrape the frost off of the windshield.  I was immediately impressed by the fact that I didn't have to climb up and lean over to reach the windshield.  I just leaned over and might even have been able to defrost the far side of the window as well, if my discount card didn't decide to snap in half.  Grrrrrrrrr!

With frozen fingers I felt around for the key hole in the door.  After considerable fumbling I found it and unlocked the door.  I fell into the car and slammed the door, struggling against the automated seat belt that strapped me back against the seat.  With a deep breath I leaned forward and tried to find the ignition.  I felt around on the steering column in the dark but couldn't find anything resembling the ignition slot.  No problem, I'll just turn on the interior lights.

Just as soon as I find them...

Okay, maybe I'll open the door since the dome light pops on automatically when the door is ajar. 

Great, not only does this new used car not have an ignition or interior lights, it doesn't have a door handle!

I had half a mind to call Dickidoo and wake him up so he could open the car door for me.  In fact I was in the process of flipping my phone open when the back light of the display lit up the tiny cab of the car.  Ah hah!  There's the ignition.  And the door latch!

I was 11 minutes late .  I would have been even later but I clocked myself going 60 mph on a 35 mph street.  I can tell how fast Big Red is going by the vibrations.  The Tracer doesn't vibrate.  To be honest I don't think the speedometer works, there's no way I could have been going 60 mph down the street and still been 11 minutes late for work.  Was I really locked in the darkened car for that long before figuring out how to turn the darn thing on?

Getting out of the car after work was a whole new challenge.  I had tossed my jacket on the passenger seat beside me and grabbed it before getting out of my seat belt.  The automatic seat belt disengages when the door opens and I found myself tangled up in the seat belt as I tried to get out with my jacket.

Did you know that long hair in a itty bitty, teenie tiny car with automatic seat belts generates a heck of a lot of static? 

Did you know that Medusa drives a slate blue Tracer?

Tomorrow I think I will give myself a few extra minutes to get to work.  11 extra minutes should do it.

I already miss Big Red!

The Tracer has a working heater (yay!) and power steering, but Big Red has class, and style, and oh so many great memories!  I don't see why we have to get rid of her, just because she's old, and her heater doesn't work, and she's a little hard to steer...

Please Dickidoo, don't get rid of Big Red, pretty please?

Friday, December 28, 2007

IF THE INTERNET ISN'T REAL, then why do I hurt so bad?

I think I have lost at least 10 pounds in tears this week.  But that's not all I've lost.  I've lost... WE'VE lost... two very special women.  Online they were known as mzgoochi and demandnlilchit.  In person they were Lahoma and Kimberleigh.  In my heart they were my friends.

The death of an Internet friend is hard to deal with because there is nothing to hold on to.  Individuals are separated by miles and miles of cable.  Often times family members who might otherwise know a neighborhood or workplace friend are unaware of cyber friendships and therefore are untouched by the loss.

I hurt.  I hurt so bad.  I want to scream.  I want to run as fast and as far as I can to get away from the reality.  I want so bad for someone to say 'Oops, sorry, they aren't really dead... my bad!'  Its happened before, I wouldn't mind if it happened now.  I would love for it to happen now.

Nobody has come forward to admit to a hoax.  I can wait.  I don't mind.  Please, someone come forward and admit to a hoax.


My brain is in defensive mode.  My heart is locking down.  No more friends.  No more caring for silly nonsensical  And just maybe I won't hurt so bad ever again.


I have met so many wonderful, precious people... REAL people here online.  I am richer for knowing them.  I cannot turn my back and heart on them, on you.

I just wish it didn't hurt so much to let go when one must leave this world.

God speed Lahoma.  God speed Kim.  I hope to see you both again.  Till then, missing you so much,


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Its not often that I have a full tank on a day off, with no prior commitments on my calendar, so I decided to take a drive into the city.  I live on the edge of town, close enough to have my zip code included in the city limits yet far enough out to avoid traffic and other big city headaches.

I ventured into the city today with one purpose, to find the ultimate give for my son from a store that could only be found smack dab in the middle of the business district... where you must pay to park.  I didn't know the exact location of the shop so I took advantage of the many red lights I encountered en route to dig for change for the parking meters.

3 dimes, 1 nickel and a million pennies.  That should buy me about 20 minutes if and when I found the place.  I needed more money.

But wait, a bank!  With a parking lot!  Feeling like things were starting to fall into place, I turned into the parking lot and entered the bank lobby.  It was a credit union, but not the one I bank at.  I used the ATM, accepting the $1.50 fee, and grimacing for the hidden video camera because I knew my credit union would be tacking on a user fee of their own.  Of course the ATM only spits out bills, and there was no way I was going to stuff a twenty into the parking meter, so I entered the bank and stood in line.

Actually I was the line.  I waited patiently until one of the two tellers finished doing what ever tellers do when there is no customer standing in front of them.  She motioned me over and I laid the crisp twenty I had just retrieved from the ATM machine on the counter. 

'I don't have an account here but I was wondering if I could get some change for this?'

The teller didn't even blink.

'Actually we only serve members.'

I was still smiling but I swear I could hear my eyes blink.. 3 times... very loudly.  She however wasn't smiling.  She didn't care that I just paid $1.50 to get that $20 from her ATM.  I wasn't a member, I wasn't even a guest.  For all practical purposes I was an uninvited intruder. 

I wasn't asking to cash a check, or buy a money order.  I just wanted change for a bill I just got from the ATM in the lobby.  Change... that was all I was asking for.  Change for the parking meter because you have to pay for the privilege to park in the city. 

'Unbelievable'.  I said with a laugh.  'Merry Christmas!'

She didn't return my greeting.  No 'thank you' or 'sorry'.  No 'have a nice day'.  Nothing.

I don't belong in a city where one must pay to park to shop.  I don't belong in a members only city, where you must fill out an application WAC to qualify for a smile and courtesy, where a visitor can't even walk into a bank to get change for the dang parking meters. 

I can't think of anything I need badly enough in town to put up with that ever again.

Except for the  ultimate give for my son from a store that could only be found smack dab in the middle of the business district.  Grrrrrrrrr!

That city is enough to turn a saint into a scrooge!

Where I live there are no parking meters.  In my town the stores and restaurants have their own parking lots... where you can park for free!  (what a concept!)

Did you know that when you say 'Merry Christmas' to a complete stranger in Widefield, Security or Fountain Colorado, most people will smile back and return the greeting.

God Bless Smalltown, USA!

Merry Christmas everyone!  (yes, even the grumpy members only bank teller).


I have changed.  People tell me so all the time.

"Jojo, are you okay?  You look like crap!"

Not only do I look like crap now days, I smell like crap.  My Elizabeth Arden's Fifth Avenue is over powered by the fragrance of regurgitated Similac.  When I return to work after lunch I almost always have cereal, cookie, or baby burps smeared on my shirt. 

I have no need for eye liner since I now sport naturally dark circles under my eyes.  My vocabulary includes words like 'mum-mum', 'peek-a-boo!' and 'ewwww! Who made a stinkie?' 

There is no such thing as sitting down to relax.  Sitting down leaves one's lap open to immediate occupation.  Filled cups are fair game for little hands and thirsty lips.  Papers, especially important looking ones, become instant napkins and teethers.

Babies can sleep through loud TV shows, laughter and other screaming babies.  Babies could probably sleep through an earth quake.

Babies cannot sleep through a tip-toed exit and the quiet click of a door.

Babies may not understand English but they understand the sound of a tip-toed exit and the quiet click of a door.

Babies have an emergency warning system to alert other babies. Babies practice this emergency warning system frequently.  It works very well.

Crying is contagious.  So is screaming.

So this is grand-motherhood.

I'm loving it! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Inquiring minds wanted to know... so here's a picture of my garlic induced bruise.  It looks worse than it feels.  I swear the back of my leg never hit anything, I fell forward.  The witnesses (no doubt they're all laughing over the instant replay on the security cam) all confirmed this.  All I can say is Yes!  I would do it all again if given a handful of garlic tortillas to fondle and sniff!  Really folks, if you ever see a rack of Mission tortillas and they have their Garlic and Herb wraps, take a whiff (I recommend standing perfectly still when doing so to avoid a similar injury).


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

QUIET, and is it spring yet?

The Northern Oompas are spending the evening with their uncle (Kim's brother) in town.  For a little while all of the gates and barriers are down.  No hurdles for my stubby old legs.  Even Rocky ran a couple of laps around the upstairs in pure glee.

But its too quiet.  No ornery chatter from Cyrus.  No happy screeching from Ayden.  No little baby giggles and coos from Ryott(I must remember to ask Kimmie how to spell Cyrus... with a C or with an S... I've been spelling it both ways.)  It just doesn't feel right any more without them.  Grandma Connie must be missing them like crazy.  I know my poor little Zachary is missing his partner in crime.

We found an apartment just a few blocks away.  Its close enough to both Kim's brother and us so we can help her out at a moment's notice and yet still far enough for her to have her independence.  The management there is great with soldiers and Gabe is doing the application online from Iraq, how cool is that? 

We'll be driving up to the mountains to get a tree.  The little ones will be joining us in this family tradition.  Its amazing how little children can brighten up the holiday season.  Don't get me wrong, even with my teenage Oompas we have a great time celebrating but little ones add a touch of magic that excites everyone.

Being the uber-graceful person that I am, I tripped over a rack of tortillas at work while sniffing a pack of garlic tortilla wraps and re-injured my calve right where I almost tore the muscle in half about 4 years ago.  Although I fell forward and landed on a bed of tortillas, I am now sporting a huge dark black, blue and red bruise on the back of my calve.  Only me........  grrrrrrrrrr!

Don't know yet if we'll have a white Christmas, but I can say for sure that we currently have a white Tuesday.  We got a nice snowfall this weekend, and its been snowing very lightly all day.

Okay, that's enough snow for me.  Where's that dang groundhog?  I guarantee he won't be seeing his shadow today...  Come on, bring on the spring!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

LITTLE OOMPA LOGIC, ain't it great?

Over the years, as my litter of Oompas grew and matured (?) I seem to have forgotten about the fascinating simplicity of child logic.  It has entranced me since Gabe's 'grabity' - the earth's force that grabs things and pulls them down...  and Becca's front door and back door neighbors (neighbors in the front and back as compared to our next door neighbors who live on our sides). 

Logic is instinctive.  Little 1 year old Ayden doesn't speak, but I can see him thinking in his deep blue eyes.  Even Little Ryott's little brain is scheming baby schemes behind his smiling big brown eyes.  Syrus, who will be 3 on Valentine's day is more obvious.

I told him to 'throw' a can away.  The next thing I knew the can was sailing across the room and into the kitchen, landing by the stove.  Naturally I fussed at him about throwing things, until it dawned on me that I had actually told him to throw the can.  I decided to reword the command, with a 'Please put the can in the trash', and the Oompa obediently picked the can up and set it nicely in the garbage can. 

* Note to self:  choose your words carefully and literally!

When Syrus first arrived he was surrounded by a house full of towering strangers.  He was not overwhelmed though and solved the problem by addressing everyone as 'peoples'.  I corrected him when he was talking to Becca.

"That is Auntie".

The correction was duly noted and Becca is now known as 'Auntie Peoples'.

And Art, who wowed his young nephew with owl and dove calls, is known as 'Cool Guy'.

Big Zack patiently endures little hands grabbing on his legs with the casual tolerance of an old experienced uncle.  I have noticed that while he doesn't pick the little guys up, he makes an unconscious point of being within reach of their curious explorations.  He hasn't resorted to baby talk ... yet... but I imagine its just a matter of time.

Dickidoo is trying hard to get Syrus to say 'Grandpa' but for the time being its 'MoMo'  I wouldn't be surprised if the little guy can say it correctly but its so much more fun to watch Dickidoo trying to teach him the right way.

Rocky best summed up our relationship with the two older boys.

"They aren't Gabe's sons but they are my nephews."

Welcome to the House of Loompa!

These past few days have been a real test with first the Northern Oompas getting sick and now the Mountain Oompas.  Its a nasty stomach virus that takes about 48 hours to run its course.  At one point poor Kim had had all 3 boys plus herself down with it.  And just as it tapered off with them my gang got it.  Joy!

Hopefully this will guarantee a healthy holiday season.

Please Lord, cos this one really sucked!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Big Oompas, little Oompas, Oompas Oompas everywhere!

I love it!

It was very late when I arrived at my grand babies house and although Little Zack was awake, he was very sleepy and grumpy.  He stayed up late and sadly was still asleep the next morning when we left for the airport so I didn't get to really bond with him or even get a picture.  Needless to say I feel very disappointed when ever I think about it, but then the three little guys that came back with their mother and me quickly fill the void.

Its been years since I had little ones in the house.  I had forgotten how fun it could be, and how exhausting!

Just a few discoveries I have made during the past few days:

* There are muscles that you never use until you become a grandparent.  These muscles are located in the neck, back and arms (for hugging and holding).  If you don't stretch them out first before taking on the full time job of grand parenting you will HURT!

* The average 18 month old child has an arm span of 36 inches.  They have the reach of 60 inches.  Don't ask me how, they just do.  If they can see it, they can get it.  And remember, just because YOU can't see it doesn't mean THEY can't see it.

* Baby food and formula still tastes nasty.

* The easiest way to get a child to do something is to tell them 'NO!'  (Oh wait, I already knew that one.)

* Don't be fooled by the size, baby turds may be small but only because they are concentrated.  If anything they stink worse than big people turds

* Baby proofing often results in grandma proofing.  About the only one who slows down at the baby gates is me.  The little Oompas can get over them easier than I can.

* If it can fall, spill, break, tear, mark or stain, consider it done.  After all, grand babies may be precious but they are still just children and bound by the Kids Code of Opportunity.

* Just because they have a limited vocabulary doesn't indicate that a grand Oompa doesn't have the ability to plan and scheme. 

* There is no such thing as too much giggles and smiles.